Georgia Chapter 7 Exemptions
Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sacrifice everything you’ve earned. Under this type of bankruptcy, you are able to retain ownership over certain belongings, which may include your car, home and retirement savings.
Under Georgia law, married persons who file jointly for bankruptcy are allowed to make the maximum amount of exemptions per person — effectively doubling the amount you can take, even on property held in common between spouses. However, this only applies to property owned either jointly or by each individual. You cannot make an exemption for property that specifically belongs to your spouse.
Some common exemptions available to Georgia residents include:
- Homestead. You may claim up to $21,500 for your residence. For couples, this amount doubles, which together allows you to claim up to $43,000.
- Motor vehicles. You may claim up to $3,500 for motor vehicles under Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
- Wages. Exemption may include up to 75 percent of weekly wages earned but unpaid, or up to 40 times the minimum Georgia or federal hourly wage. A judge may raise this amount for low-income claimants.
In addition to these common exemptions, there are a number of property exemptions available to you, including:
- Jewelry. You may claim up to $500 for any jewelry you own.
- Personal property. You may claim up to $5,000 for appliances, books, clothing, animals, crops, furnishings or musical instruments you own.
If you need to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it’s important to contact an experienced bankruptcy attorney to help you receive the maximum amount of exemptions based on your current living situation.